Maryland’s attorney general is taking the fight for abortion rights to Indiana.
Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) joined 15 colleagues who filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
The coalition of attorneys general filed the brief in support of a lawsuit by the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, which was denied a license to open a medication abortion clinic in South Bend, Ind.
The coalition argues that states have an interest in protecting the health and safety of residents, which includes promoting access to safe health care and reproductive health care.
“One state’s illegal prohibition against safe abortion services for women affects all states,” Frosh said in a news release. “We are joining in filing this brief to help ensure that women, especially those in areas where basic medical services are scant, are given the opportunity to make safe choices about their own reproductive health.”
Whole Woman’s Health Alliance filed a suit against Indiana after the clinic was denied a license, arguing that the state’s requirements are overly vague and unconstitutional.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana entered a preliminary injunction requiring Indiana to allow the clinic to open. The state of Indiana appealed.
The 15 other state attorneys general who joined the brief are from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington.
The states argue that restricting access to abortion care for underserved populations increases the public health risk for pregnant women and could strain health care systems in other states.
“Forcing women to seek healthcare in neighboring States requires providers in those States to take on additional patients and places additional pressure on state regulators to monitor the services provided,” the coalition wrote. “In short, the repercussions of defendants’ unlawful actions are not limited to their State or the women who live there.”